Note: In order to make sense of this weird heading, please check out Part I of this post.
OK then, let’s continue the discussion on how we can tap into the brain’s most fundamental drivers in order to gain the productivity needed to make truly meaningful contributions to society. As discussed in the previous post, this is best achieved by gaining something called a “healthy obsession” – a state where your mind automatically returns time and time again to some important idea that can add great value to society if further developed.
In order to gain access to this magical and extremely productive state, we have to utilize the fact that free creative expression is one of the most direct routes to happiness and fulfillment. And in order to do that, we first have to understand the distinction between creation and labor.
In simple terms, labor is production for the primary purpose of earning a living while creation is production for the primary purpose of personal growth and fulfillment. Labor is typically incentivized by a financial reward such as a salary or a commission, while creation is typically incentivized by the desire to know more, do more and be more.
It is important to clarify right away that you will never be able to develop a healthy obsession about work that qualifies as labor. Indeed, you will only be able to develop a healthy obsession about an idea or problem that you care about very deeply – something that you would be willing to work on for minimum wage if need be. In other words; you have to be willing to trade the happiness to be gained from consumption for the happiness to be gained from free creative expression (which is an excellent trade of course).
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people living in our modern society would choose consumption over free creative expression any day of the week. That is why the vast majority of people are laborers and not creators. But anyone who is willing to make the initial material sacrifices needed to start building a healthy obsession will be rewarded with much happiness and fulfillment and, eventually, also the great financial rewards that must come to anyone who makes a great contribution to society.
Setting up an environment where you are free to start building on your healthy obsession can be practically very challenging and will be discussed in more detail in a future post. For now, however, it is only important to emphasize that a healthy obsession works as a self-strengthening spiral – a number of self-strengthening spirals actually: The more you learn, the more you want to learn. The more knowledge and ideas you have, the more building blocks you have from which to construct new knowledge and ideas. The more skilled you become, the more joyous the process of practicing this skill becomes. The more value you add to society, the more motivation for further value creation you will receive from others.
Once these compounding self-strengthening spirals build up a head of steam, there will be no stopping you. But, just like a train, your healthy obsession will probably require quite a lot of time and effort to get going. This process can be quite challenging and will be discussed in more detail in two posts’ time as promised above.
Before we get to that, however, we will look at the other option for mythical utopia manipulation: shifting down – a process with its own set of challenges and rewards.
Filed under: Mental control – Intermediate control